Reproduction As of Augustus and Agrippa - Crocodile Palm
Obverse: The heads of Agrippa to left and Augustus to right, back to back. Agrippa wearing combined rostral crown and laurel wreath and Augustus bare head. Text above IMP, text in exergue DIVI F (Imperator Divi Filius).
Reverse: Crocodile right chained to palm shoot behind, wreath with long ties and palm branches below. Text COL-NEM (Colonia Nemausus).
History: The Romans, ever fascinated with exotic and dangerous animals, associated the crocodile with Egypt herself. This coin was struck sometime around 16-5 B.C. at the provincial city of Nemausus. The reverse illustrates a palm tree and before and enchained to it, a crocodile. Across the scene is inscribed COL-NEM, indicating the Roman colony of Nemausus, Gaul. It is an obvious allusion to Egypt (crocodile) and its subjugation (chained to a palm tree) and celebrated the acquisition of Egypt from Marc Antony and Cleopatra VII.
The obverse depicts the opposite facing heads of Octavian (known as Augustus by this time) and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Agrippa, a prominent Roman statesman, general, and engineer, was a lifelong ally of Augustus, and played a decisive role in his 31 BC victory at the naval Battle of Actium, as commemorated on this coin.
Date: Nemausus Mint, Circa 16 - 5 BC